Matilda Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Matilda Name Meaning

Matilda is a feminine name of Germanic origin, and it carries a profound meaning. The name is derived from the Germanic elements “maht,” meaning “might” or “strength,” and “hild,” meaning “battle” or “war.” Therefore, the name Matilda can be interpreted as “strength in battle” or “mighty in war,” embodying a sense of power and resilience.

5 Famous People Named Matilda

Throughout history, several remarkable individuals have borne the name Matilda. Here are five notable figures who have left their mark:

  1. Empress Matilda (1102-1167) – Also known as Matilda of England, she was the daughter of King Henry I of England. Empress Matilda played a crucial role in the English succession crisis known as “The Anarchy.” She sought to claim the English throne, leading to a period of political turmoil.
  2. Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898) – An American women’s suffragist, abolitionist, and Native American rights advocate, Matilda Joslyn Gage was a prominent figure in the women’s rights movement of the 19th century. Her contributions to gender equality and social justice were invaluable.
  3. Matilda of Scotland (1080-1118) – Also referred to as Queen Matilda, she was the wife of King Henry I of England and Queen consort from 1100 until her death. Matilda of Scotland was known for her charitable endeavors and devotion to the church.
  4. Matilda Ramsay – Daughter of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, Matilda Ramsay followed in her father’s footsteps and became a talented chef and television personality in her own right.
  5. Matilda Ledger (2005-) – The daughter of the late actor Heath Ledger, Matilda Ledger gained media attention due to her famous parentage and the impact of her father’s passing on the entertainment world.
See also  Cecilia Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Name Origin and History

The name Matilda has ancient roots. It originated in Germanic-speaking regions and gained popularity during medieval times. It was introduced to England by the Normans following the Norman Conquest of 1066, and its use spread across Europe during the Middle Ages. Matilda has been the moniker of queens, princesses, and noblewomen, contributing to its long and illustrious history.

Popularity of the Name Matilda

The popularity of the name Matilda has experienced fluctuations over the centuries. During medieval times, it was a favored name among royalty and the aristocracy. However, its usage declined during the Renaissance and later resurged in the 19th century.

In recent times, Matilda has experienced a revival in popularity, particularly in English-speaking countries. Its vintage charm, historical significance, and association with strong female figures have contributed to its appeal to modern parents seeking unique and meaningful names for their daughters.

5 Variations of Matilda

As with many names, Matilda has variations in different languages and cultures, each adding its own flavor to the name:

  1. Mathilde – This French variant of Matilda has gained popularity internationally. It carries the same meaning of strength and battle prowess.
  2. Tilda – A diminutive form of Matilda, Tilda has emerged as a trendy standalone name.
  3. Mahault – A medieval French form of Matilda, Mahault reflects the name’s historical usage.
  4. Matylda – This Polish variant preserves the essence of the name while offering a distinctive flair.
  5. Maud – A medieval English diminutive of Matilda, Maud has a vintage charm that appeals to many parents today.

5 Different Origins of the Name Matilda

Matilda’s popularity and variations are not confined to one culture or region. It has taken on unique forms in diverse linguistic and cultural contexts:

  1. Germanic Origins – As mentioned earlier, Matilda’s origins can be traced back to the Germanic languages, where it was first formed from “maht” and “hild.”
  2. French Origins – The name Matilda gained popularity in France during the medieval period, giving rise to the variant Mathilde.
  3. Polish Origins – The Polish variant Matylda has been used in Poland and other Slavic-speaking regions.
  4. Scandinavian Origins – Matilda’s popularity spread to the Scandinavian countries, resulting in variants like “Mathilda” and “Mathilde.”
  5. English Origins – The name Matilda became entrenched in English history after the Norman Conquest, eventually becoming a prominent name in England.
See also  Ragnar Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Cultural Significance

Matilda’s cultural significance is far-reaching, as it has been associated with powerful and influential women throughout history. From queens and empresses to activists and artists, the name Matilda has been carried by individuals who have left indelible marks on society.

Furthermore, its resurgence in popularity in contemporary times reflects a cultural desire to embrace historical and meaningful names. Matilda represents strength, determination, and a spirit of resilience that resonates with modern parents seeking names that inspire and empower their daughters.


In conclusion, the name Matilda has a rich and fascinating history, with roots in Germanic languages and a legacy that spans across different cultures and time periods. From the medieval queens to the present-day trend of reviving vintage names, Matilda continues to capture the hearts of parents and individuals alike.

With its profound meaning and association with influential figures, Matilda remains a name that carries both grace and strength, making it a timeless choice for generations to come.